Watertown Set to Rebid Thompson Park Playground

Watertown City Council members are ready to take another shot at finding the right contractor to set up the new children’s playground at Thompson Park in New York.

On Monday night, they unanimously consented to rebid the project to set up the equipment after that work returned $20,000 over the budget on February 28. The city’s Purchasing Department plans to start dealing with the second round of quotes today. It will take about three weeks to get the quotes out to perspective companies to ensure commercial plumbing services for WC facilities are properly installed, along with quotes for the appropriate builder’s indemnity insurance for the job.

But Mayor Joseph M. Butler Jr. thinks the city will have much better luck this time around in finding the right contractor for the playground install and landscaping job.”I’m hoping that they come back lower,” he stated after the conference. City park and purchasing officials decided to disqualify low bidder Terlouw Building, Newfield, from its $68,000 bid because the company could not offer sufficient builders warranty insurance for the $385,000 project.

City officials hope, by decreasing the required $5 million insurance coverage for the task to $1 million, the strategy will bring out more competitive bids. Watertown City Purchasing Supervisor Amy M. Pastuf still hopes the city can open the new playground before Memorial Day. “We have a bit of extra time,” she informed council members.

The city is working with Parkitects Inc., a Tompkins County-based company that deals mostly in parks and play areas, to create designs for the brand-new equipment. The city will then go through a state agreement to purchase the equipment from Landscaping Structure, a nationwide company that has actually offered equipment and kid-friendly landscape designs to playgrounds across the nation.

The quotes opened on Feb. 28 were strictly for a company to set up the equipment, a process that must only take a couple of weeks to finish. The other two quotes, $86,709 from Kevin Leach Landscaping, Pennellville, and $89,995 by Titan Advancement Co., Gasport, were found to be about $20,000 too high. 8 businesses were asked to submit bids as part of the original tender. The chosen business would set up the larger pieces of equipment with city Department of Public Works teams and locals working on the smaller sized pieces.

The city will order the playground equipment once the agreement is awarded to the business and emergency plumber that will install it. The city has received a $50,000 increase from the state to assist fund the job. The rest of its expense will come from the allocated 2016-17 budget. In November, the 29-year-old Thompson Park playground was taken apart and its remnants carried away.

In other news, council members accepted an offer to sell a deteriorated vacant duplex at 825 Academy St. to the Next-door neighbours of Watertown Inc., so the building can be refurbished. The eyesore will quickly be restored under a real estate rehabilitation program that was inactive for several years. The Development Authority of the North County is also involved in the job.

Council members also accepted to spend about $160,000 to destroy two more uninhabited apartment complexes on Academy Street. The building at 166 Academy St. was sold in the process of a public auction last autumn; however the winning bidder has actually decided not to go through with the deal. The nearby structure at 158 Academy St. remains in rough shape and cannot be conserved.

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